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Sun, 01.07.1855

George William Cook, Educator born

George W. Cook

*George William Cook was born on this date in 1855.   He was a Black educator, administrator, and activist.  

Born a slave in Winchester, Virginia, he was one of 8 children of Eliza and Peyton Cook. His family moved to Harrisburg, PA, where he worked in the home of Dr. Mooma.  It was there that the doctor allowed him access to his library and thus his love for reading.  He attended school in Harrisburg and later moved to New York.  Here he came under the influence of Henry Highland Garnet

Cook came to Howard University in 1874, He graduated from their preparatory department in 1877 and received his B.A. in 1881.  He graduated from the university as a student of both the liberal arts college and the law school.  His first job at the university was student labor.  He assisted in hauling brick to be used to erect some of the campus buildings, which still stand.  He also was a teacher in the Normal Department under the leadership of Miss Martha Briggs.  Cook was also a professor of commercial law, Dean of the School of Commerce and Finance, Business Manager Secretary, Acting President, Alumni Secretary, and Board of Trustees. 

His career spanned fifty-eight of the first sixty-six of Howard University's history.  In 1898, he married Coralie Franklin.  He also served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Washington D.C. NAACP from its inception until his death in Philadelphia.   George William Cook died on August 20, 1931. 

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